Paragon Pages - Fall 2009 - Corporate Counsel on Demand
Featured Attorney: Jennifer Morrill
Featured Attorney: Jennifer Morrill
Paragon Projects: Cisco Systems; McKesson Corporation
Having served as CEO to baby bottle company Adiri, Inc., and as senior corporate counsel to Yahoo! Inc. for six years, Jennifer Morrill offers Paragon clients a uniquely practical, business-oriented approach to legal issues. Jen received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her J.D. from UC Hastings.

Why do you work for Paragon? "I love the variety of work and the opportunity to engage with a number of energetic and smart legal teams."

What Paragon project are you working on now? "I am currently at Cisco as part of the in-bound licensing team, a welcoming, smart and fun-to-work-with group."

What are you reading? "With two young kids, I don't have a lot of time for extra-curricular reading, but I did recently take an online writing class through Stanford Continuing Education. I read a number of short stories and books through the course while commuting by train to McKesson Corporation, my last Paragon assignment."

What sources do you use to keep current in your legal specialty? "I read the New York Times and local papers daily, which is a good way to keep up on trends both in business and law: who's buying who, who's suing who over what and new regulatory and technology developments."

What’s a secret or hidden talent that you have? "In my rare free time I love to sew. I made a lot of my clothes in high school and recently got the sewing machine out to make throw pillows and a "fairy bower" for my daughter's room."

Rebel With a Cause

Paragon's founder, Mae O'Malley, was among a select group of innovators deemed by the ABA Journal to be "Legal Rebels." The magazine defined those lawyers as mavericks committed to upending the stale status quo and improving, often through technology, the practice of law.

"It was an honor to be included in this inspirational group of modern pathfinders who are committed to improving the delivery of legal services," O'Malley says. Read the ABA Journal's feature about O'Malley.

Be the Change You Seek

Paragon currently has project openings for attorneys with expertise in the areas of technology transactions, internet/e-commerce, corporate/securities and employment. If you have at least 8 years of experience, practiced in-house, and top academic credentials, please send resumes to projects@paragonlegal.com. Attorneys selected to work with Paragon enjoy cutting-edge legal work with leading bay area companies, competitive compensation, and a level of flexibility unmatched by traditional legal jobs.
Paragon's Innovative Business Model Continues to Make Headlines:

San Francisco Attorney Magazine explains how Paragon is helping talented lawyers redefine their careers

GC California mentions Paragon when analyzing how corporate counsel are shifting legal spending during the Recession

The Project for Attorney Retention at UC Hastings College of the Law highlights Paragon as a “new model” of legal practice

Can Firms Really Change?

Corporate counsel don’t believe that traditional law firms are serious about improving their delivery model, according to the 2009 Chief Legal Officer Survey conducted by consulting firm Altman Weil.

Only five percent of CLOs assessed law firms as highly serious about reassessing variables like staffing and pricing. Twenty percent rated firms in the mid-range of seriousness. Seventy-five percent of CLOs reported law firms having little or no interest in change. As a result, corporate law departments will decrease outside counsel use in the next 12 months, according to the survey. Forty percent of respondents reported that less work would go to traditional law firms this year, up from 26 percent last year.

Hourly Rates Decreasing?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the UK’s white shoe law firms are increasingly competing with lower-priced lawyers for lower-margin work. As a result, partner rates at the "Magic Circle" firms are decreasing, as discovered by The Lawyer's annual fee rates survey. Specifically, average Magic Circle partner rates have dropped by a third in the last year, the survey reported. It remains to be seen whether the high-end, downmarket trend will travel to this side of the Atlantic.



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